not too many negatives so I hope to do it awhile…..telephone answering service

I work for an answering service. I worked at one company for a year, then quit and went to the competition when I applied and they made me a better offer. In some ways it can be very stressful, but it’s ultimately quite enjoyable, if only for the amusement.

I used to believe in the basic intelligence of the human race, until I started getting phone calls in the middle of the night. For example, I answer for a number of doctors. Luckily in Ontario we now have Tele-Health, a hotline that fields the idiot calls, but a few months before this was in place, I got a call from someone who seemed kind of upset. Turns out he had something stuck in his rectum. I couldn’t bring myself to ask what it was, but after I reached the doctor (twice), I had to break it to him that it’s not something the doc could help him with over the phone. Then he asked me “Will it fall out by morning?” I had to tell him I didn’t know, and to go to the emergency room…

Then there was a call on one of the vet lines. Her friend’s dog had eaten a chocolate brownie. It was 4:30am, and she’d been up all night watching this dog, because she’d heard chocolate can kill them. She said “I don’t know. He seems kind of droopy and slobbery.” IT’S A DOG!!! They’re all droopy and slobbery! Her friend, who owned the dog, had wisely gone to bed. I called the vet, told her the story, and she said “What’s she doing up at this hour?” I said “Watching the dog.” The vet said “Sounds like she needs to get a life.” Indeed.

I have a BA in Communications, and people often ask me why I’m working for an answering service, but I think I’m in the minority in that I truly like my job. I work nights, so I’m independent and have lots of time to think and do things other than work. I like the people I work with, and the money and benefits are decent. The boss is great. She answers questions but isn’t always looking over your shoulder, and the customers (our customers, not the people who call them) are largely very easy to deal with and work for. Overall, my job doesn’t have very many negatives, and I hope to be doing it for a very long time.

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